The Controversy Behind Pikachu’s Design

Jacob Garcia, Staff Writer

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Until recently, Pikachu had been consuming the ongoing discussions of not only Pokémon fans, but also media in general and how Pikachu and other Pokémon have been adapted with new distinctive designs in the upcoming movie POKÉMON Detective Pikachu, set to release on May 10, 2019. 

While it is true that we have seen numerous Pokémon movies adapted into feature-length animated films, we have yet to see a physical live-action Pokémon movie that features various generations of Pokémon over the years.

While this upcoming film has been seemingly intriguing to the Pokémon fandom and people in general, people have been more astounded, perplexed, and even terrified of Pikachu’s design in this feature-length film. We all know Pokémon are anthropomorphic animals that have the capabilities to talk like humans; however, we have never seen them actually interacting with them in this type of archetype design.

Pikachu is shown to be very realistic, like a dog or cat, with hyper-realistic fur and big eyes. People like me would probably find this physical embodiment of Pikachu really cute or adorable upon the first introduction; however, the media thinks otherwise about our adorable yellow ball of fur.

This essentially allows the audience to not only be enraptured by the visualization and imagery of the live-action Pokémon universe but also make it feel like you are really part of it. Yes, the visuals and design philosophy are questionable because of how realistic it is to the audience’s eye that differentiates our perspective from nostalgia, but, in the end, that really is the point.